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Rep. Darrell Issa Investigating Union Political Spending

He demands answers regarding possible improper use of dues.

Patrick Richardson


April 4, 2012 - 12:00 am
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Issa is demanding documents from the NLRB and the FEC, and is requesting written answers to several questions from the UAW, SEIU, NEA, and AEA. He wants to know how the unions notifiy workers of their Beck rights, why the UAW requires that Beck objections be renewed each year, and if the workers have complained about the annual renewals.

Additionally, Issa wants to know if unions take steps to help ensure that union workers who exercise their Beck rights do not face ridicule and harassment. Issa also asks if the unions notify workers about how much money is spent on non-representational activities, how the unions determine what expenditures are non-representational and therefore should be excluded from the agency fee, and what activities they consider non-representational.

Further, Issa asks if the unions account for differences in non-representational spending in election years versus non-election years.

Issa specifically questions union spending on clear left-wing causes — such as the One Nation Working Together rally on October 2, 2010, in Washington, D.C., or spending supporting the Occupy movement — and how those expenditures qualify as representational activity.

Issa is also demanding that unions answer whether or not they allow all union workers to object to non-representational activities, or if only agency fee-payers are permitted to object. If the objections are limited, Issa asks if the unions support extending the right to object to all members.

He further requested information on Beck complaints from the NLRB and information about an investigation of Waite’s complaints by FEC.

Issa also announced the launch of a “crowdsourcing” website — – to seek more stories of union abuse regarding political campaigns.

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Patrick Richardson has been a journalist for almost 15 years and an inveterate geek all his life. He blogs regularly at, which aims to be like another SF magazine, just not so serious.
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